Our seventh son and eighth child is now here, and we are all of course still resting and recovering. But the morning after our meeting Andrew Matthias Mullet face-to-face, I found Psalm 127 on my thoughts and in my heart.
Now more than ever, I should understand our situation better in light of what God’s Word says here. So how does a father of eight children and seven sons read this passage?
Resisting Two Temptations
For starters, there are at least two temptations for a father with as many children as I now have.
One is to feel angry at the scoffers who mock us for having a large family, growing still larger. At a time when most folks are having few to none, we are extreme outliers in our culture at this point in history, though I would love to see that change. But some people are rather liberal in their criticism and scorn about that fact, and it does get my goat from time to time.
But the other temptation is equally hazardous. And that is that we would allow ourselves to be put on a pedestal and become conceited as others admire us for such a big family, and so many sons.
It seems to me this morning that both temptations are checked in Psalm 127 by reminding me that God Himself builds our house and watches over our city if our hope and trust is in Him.
I do not need to be anxious or sleepless. I rather need to not be. And I can be at peace and settled when the Lord of all Creation Himself protects and provides for us.
On the other hand, by reminding me that it is God who deserves the credit, Psalm 127 keeps me from being puffed up as though I have done this thing if it is or will be successful.
Again, the Lord Himself establishes what is established according to His good pleasure and tender mercy. The only way I can boast with decency and dignity is in the Lord and His goodness and grace.
A Godly Legacy
Beyond resisting temptations, I am comforted in taking the long view as I read Psalm 127. God’s Word here recasts the children of my youth – particularly my sons if you pay heed to the footnotes – as arrows in the hand of a warrior.
This speaks to strength and the ability to deter enemies from foolhardy attacks on my household and city, but it also speaks to an ability to defend against enemies should they make an assault.
And it is nice to see the active encouragement to fill my quiver with them and be blessed.
But the fact that I have filled my quiver means that I can look forward to the Lord blessing my house and the city to which He has brought us in the years and decades and generations to come, even as the arrival of this newest son and child is already a blessing.
“Children are a heritage from Yahweh” means that however tired or overwhelmed we may feel in a moment as we reorganize ourselves and our dynamics, and rest from labor and delivery, we take the long view and look forward to relief and security from the hand of God Himself.
And when God gives a thing or secures it, that thing is to be received and enjoyed with gladness and thanksgiving. So we do receive and enjoy Andrew Matthias Mullet, and thank the good Lord for him.
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